January 26, 2012
Matt Borron, email@example.com
Communities React to DoD Proposal for New BRAC Round
Fair and Open Process that Supports Communities is Critical
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s announcement that President Obama will ask for a new round of base realignment and closure (BRAC) as part of DoD’s plan for managing budget cuts created concern and questions for hundreds of communities across the country. Already preparing for and feeling the impact of DoD budget cuts, communities and states with significant military presence are bracing again for what could be the sixth round of base closure since 1988.
“BRAC is a tough process for any community and while history shows us that there is life after closure, it can take decades to recover,” said Tim Ford, CEO of the Association of Defense Communities. “While we recognize the need to make tough choices, it is important not to forget the residents who have spent their lives supporting the military and the profound impact of BRAC on communities.”
ADC’s nearly 200 member communities and states are already feeling the impact of defense cuts, and the challenges are expected to mount as plans are solidified.
“Even without a BRAC round, the cuts are starting, and communities and states are often on the sidelines waiting for the next announcement. Information is critical, but we also need a process that is fair and transparent, and if a community or state is impacted, DoD and Congress need to ensure adequate support is provided to help the community’s economic recovery.” said ADC President John Armbrust, who is the Executive Director of the Kansas Governor’s Military Council.
Supporting communities and the impact of BRAC is something that Secretary Panetta knows well. Panetta served as a member of congress representing the Monterey Peninsula in the 1990’s when Fort Ord was closed under BRAC. This closure had major impacts on the community that are still being felt today.
“I have no doubt the decision to recommend another round of BRAC is a tough one for the Secretary to make, and that is why hope he will work hard to ensure that communities and states are treated fairly through an open process,” Ford said.
ADC is urging communities and states be engaged in the process at all levels.
“Information is essential, and when so much is at stake, communities need to seek out reliable sources,” Armbrust said. “While it is important to advocate for your community, there are a number of proactive strategies communities and states can deploy to build sustainable partnerships with the military.”
Next month, communities from around the country will be gathering in Miami for ADC’s 2012 Winter Forum. This three-day event will include special briefings from the military, sessions focused on understanding the BRAC process, and opportunities for communities to discuss strategies. Information about the conference is available at www.defensecommunities.org. This event is open to the media.
The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) is the nation’s premier membership organization serving America’s defense communities. ADC represents 200 communities, states and regions with a significant military presence, and partner organizations. ADC unites the diverse interests of communities, state governments, the private sector and the military on issues of base closure and realignment, community-military partnerships, defense real estate, mission growth, mission sustainment, military privatization, military families/veteran support and base redevelopment.
Association of Defense Communities
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Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202) 822-5256
Fax: (202) 289-7499